Wednesday, December 6, 2023

En Breve: record remittances, Ford opens R&D hub and the biggest ofrenda in Mexico

Remittances up 14% in September 

Mexicans working abroad sent US $5.03 billion home in September, the Bank of México reported Tuesday. It was the fifth consecutive month that remittances exceeded $5 billion and a 14.1% increase compared to September 2021.

Mexican migrants – often described as “heroes” by President López Obrador – sent a record $42.96 billion home in the first nine months of the year, a 15% spike compared to the same period of last year. The majority of the money came from the United States, where millions of Mexicans live and work.

Ford opens R&D hub near CDMX 

United States automaker Ford has opened a US $260 million global technology and business center in Naucalpan, a México state municipality that borders Mexico City.

Ford México announced the opening on Monday, saying on Twitter that the new center will “build the future and promote Mexican talent.”

Ford said in a statement that 9,000 employees will work at the center, albeit not all at the same time: workers will do shifts at home some of the time. In a slick video posted to Twitter, the company said that the center “will house our business operations, global transformation activities and the largest engineering center in the [auto] industry in Mexico.”

Ford has four manufacturing plants in Mexico and employs over 10,000 people here.

COVID-19 the leading cause of death last year

A day before Day of the Dead, the newspaper Reforma published an article with the headline “What do Mexicans die of?”

Data from the national statistics agency INEGI showed that COVID-19 was the number-one killer in 2021, claiming the lives of almost 239,000 Mexicans. Ranking below the disease in spots 2 to 10 were heart disease; diabetes; malignant tumors; influenza and pneumonia; liver disease; cerebrovascular disease; homicides; accidents; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mexico’s biggest Day of the Dead altar — and maybe the world’s — is in Chiapas    

The country’s largest Día de Muertos ofrenda (altar) is likely in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, reports the news website La Silla Rota.

The altar was set up on the stairs of the Monumento a la Bandera (Monument to the Flag) in the Chiapas capital.

The stairs are adorned with a huge amount of cempasúchil, or marigold flowers, 1,300 candles and the images of at least 80 prominent deceased people, among other things. The total area of the altar, located in the city’s southwest, is over 1,000 square meters.

Omar Cruz of the city’s carnival committee told La Silla Rota that Tuxtla Gutierrez’s altar is bigger than the one famously built in Hidalgo in 2019, which if true, would likely make the Chiapas capital’s altar a Guinness World Records breaker. But there’s some debate, as Xalapa is also claiming to have built one bigger than Hidalgo’s record holder.

We’ll wait for Guinness to weigh in.

With reports from El Financiero, Reuters, Reforma and La Silla Rota

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.

Asylum applications in Mexico hit historic numbers this year

The applications through November surpass the previous yearly record, with most asylum-seekers coming from Cuba, Haiti and Honduras.

New ‘home office law’ takes effect in Mexico

Regulation approved in June for remote workers in Mexico, including reimbursements and the right to disconnect, went into effect on Tuesday.
Tesla vehicles on a trailer

Got 1 min? Elon Musk says ‘next-gen’ Tesla vehicles to be made in Mexico

In an interview, Musk said the manufacturing innovations of Tesla's low-cost electric vehicles will "blow people's minds."